The other day I wrote about taking three steps back for every step I took forward. I’ve come to realize that sometimes you have to take three steps back to see the whole picture.
Today I went and took a look at the farm house that I saw for rent last weekend. There are a few issues… but if I can negotiate some with the owner and the leasing company, then I think this may be my new home. Some of the issues include:
- A funky smell in the kitchen. I think a previous tenant may have had a cat. But I think I can overcome this with some mad cleaning skills and a bottle of vinegar. Not my top concern. It’s not that bad, and once you get out of the kitchen, the smell is non-existent. I think I can fix this.
- Mice. The leasing company called and told me the house may have a mouse problem. Again, probably not something I can’t overcome with a little determination. So long as it’s not the “mouse house” that I lived in during college, I think it’ll be okay. It’s the country, what do I expect? Again – I have skills… I think I can fix that too. When I was there, I peeked in all the cabinets and didn’t notice anything that said “mice” to me.
Now for the two biggies:
- They expect me to start paying rent immediately, even though I can’t move in for 30 days. (I can’t move in – it doesn’t mean the house won’t be empty. I’ll be traveling for work and the holidays, and need time to pack up my belongings at my current house. Plus I have to give my current landlords 30-days notice.) I’ve never had a landlord expect that. The usual and customary is that you pay rent when you move in. Basically, this would be akin to $820 of extra rent before I could even spend one night in the house. That, on top of the rent I’m already paying at the house I live in now… The house that doesn’t have any funky smells or mice. That’s a pretty big added expense.
- The owner filled the propane tank in the middle of winter (a week ago) and expects me to reimburse him for it. Another $500-$600. Everyone knows that the cost of propane is nearly twice in the winter than it costs in the summer months. Another unexpected expense.
- Neither of these things, nor the mouse issue, were told to me until after I had looked at the house and turned in my lease application (a $20 value).
So here’s the plan of attack: If the owner will fore-go the rent until I can move in on the 15th of January (which shouldn’t even be an issue, but it is), then I’ll reimburse him for the propane and fix the mouse and funky kitchen smell problem. Between the mice and cleaning the smell, and reimbursing the propane, I think that’s a fair “meet me in the middle” compromise.
The thing is that I don’t need to move. I’ve just always loved that house. It’s a matter of “want” versus “need.” I’m perfectly happy in my little Frenchtown house. It has rainbows, lovely landlords, a fabulous view… There’s not really anything wrong with the place, perse. But here’s why I want to live in the Farm House (another list):
- I can have a garden. A large garden.
- There are fruit trees on the premises.
- I can have chickens.
- The house is on five acres with no immediate neighbors.
- The house offers me more opportunities to hone my self-sufficiency skills.
- It’s half the distance to town than where I live currently. (Five miles to the vortex of shopping, versus 12 now. Nine miles to work, versus 17+ now.)
- It’s half-again as big as my Frenchtown house (1200 square feet versus 800 now)
- It has hardwood floors instead of the carpeting that I’ve been living with for the past three houses.
- There are three fenced in areas – including the immediate back yard – so I can let Bella outside without being on a leash or a cable – or without having to be outside with her.
So there are some definite benefits to the house… Just a few hurdles to try to overcome.
In the end, if the leasing company and owner won’t negotiate, then they can give the house to someone else. I’m perfectly content where I’m at right now. Again, it’s a “want” versus “need” sort of thing.